Yes on Measure 11

April 19, 2002 12:00 am

Don't dwell too long on how you'll cast your ballot on Measure 11.

It doesn't raise taxes. In fact, it gets you more for the tax dollars you've already paid.

And it doesn't give the thumbs up or down to the so-called "Oregon Opportunity." That $500 million public-private investment in biotechnology infrastructure is already cutting checks.

Measure 11 does amend the Constitution, allowing the state treasurer to issue general obligation bonds instead of revenue bonds to fund the state's committment to the Oregon Opportunity.

That's it.

As far as we can tell, nobody has a cogent argument against Measure 11. The upshot, quite simply, is $35 million in interest savings by issuing less-expensive general obligation bonds.

Why the vigorous campaign in its favor, then?

Raising the public profile of this initiative builds momentum — momentum Oregon Health Sciences University is going to need to develop its facilities in Portland, where the hospital's neighbors are less than keen on a proposal to build a tramway up their street and over their houses.

We don't have to worry about anything that elaborate — or much direct benefit, really, save for the as-yet unformed Rural Health Initiative. The pitch is this: rural residents will have an opportunity to take part in cutting-edge drug trials without traveling to Portland.

We'll just have to see.